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Information about manp-bysi-weaver

Published on January 14, 2009

Author: aSGuest10531


Slide 1: 1 Boston Youth Sports Initiative Network Weaving MANP Networks for Social Change Conference October 17th, 2008 By Chris Lynch Why Youth Sports in Boston? : Why Youth Sports in Boston? 2 Quality youth sports programs have positive impacts on Health, Psychological , and Educational outcomes Kids are interested in sports Youth Sports are chronically underfunded Boston kids don’t have enough Youth Sports opportunities Estimated 40,000 of 55,000 Boston youth not served by sports programs Boston youth have only 1/3 of the opportunities to participate in sports that children in the suburbs enjoy. Only 15% of urban children participate in organized youth sports, as compared to 85% - 90% in the suburbs. Landscape of youth sports in Boston - Structure : Landscape of youth sports in Boston - Structure 3 In the youth sports sector, the supply of opportunities did not meet demand Certain groups in particular (e.g., specific neighborhoods, minorities, or for sports in particular - girls) had less than average access to quality programming The field of providers was highly fragmented and isolated from one another as well as from other community resources. Landscape of youth sports in Boston - Network Issues : Landscape of youth sports in Boston - Network Issues 4 Lack of resources for all programs Lack of clear consistent communication for groups Uneven quality of programming Difficulty in interacting with the city Difficulty measuring the impact of youth sports programs Difficulty in interacting with schools Little systemic connections to access resources Youth Sports Programs not considered part of the “After School” world, and its resources Lack of available training Goals and Assumptions of network “weaver” project : Goals and Assumptions of network “weaver” project 5 Increased Network Connectivity = stronger programs and network Greater connectivity within and across the youth sports sector will support the development of sector-wide social capital and adaptive capacity to achieve long-term, sustainable change and positive outcomes for children. Fostering emergent, “bottom up” activity among players in the sector—in part by crossing boundaries to bring together organizations in new ways—will be critical to sector capacity and resilience. Investment in a network “weaver” whose job is to understand the structure and needs of the sector, improve knowledge sharing, catalyze and facilitate relationship development, and begin to bring organizations together to work towards common goals is a viable way to achieve healthy networks and stronger sector-level capacity Investing in network building is a highly leveraged way to achieve desired outcomes, and a strong complement to other investments in building the capacity of a portfolio of individual organizations. Network “weaver” function and value : Network “weaver” function and value 6 Weaver as “market maker.” Weavers’ value is in making connections within and outside the network to bring in resources, increase information flow and transparency, facilitate initiatives that meet needs of multiple organizations, help “make things happen.” Weaver as leverage for the foundation. Weavers are the ground-level eyes and ears that enable the foundation to make lots of little bets, sport typically hard to find ideas, facilitate lots of small initiatives to build both organizational and sector capacity Weaver as capacity builder for intermediaries. Weavers identify/build/strengthen structural hubs that serve the needs of vast number of players in the network, in the hope that structural hubs will have staying power and anchor the network Weaver as facilitator of collaboration. Weavers bring together diverse leaders/orgs to jointly set and pursue multi-org or even sector-level goals. A vision of how a network grows : A vision of how a network grows BYSI Network Building Theory 7 Building Sustainable Communities through Network Building describes four phases of building a network building which have accurately portrayed the work of the BYSI in the first three years. They state that vibrant community network is generally built in 4 phases, and that each phase builds a more adaptive and resilient network structure than the prior phase. A Vision of how a network grows: Stages of growth : A Vision of how a network grows: Stages of growth Four phases of Networking building – from Building Sustainable Communities through Network Building (Krebs & Holley) 8 Phase #1 Scattered Clusters Phase #2 Single Hub-and-Spoke Phase #3 Multi-Hub/Small-World Network Phase #4 Core/Periphery Discovering and defining “weaver strategies” : Discovering and defining “weaver strategies” BYSI Network Strategies, Projects and Activities 9 Communication & Information distribution Building sustainable intermediaries Identifying, encouraging and strengthening small clusters Bringing in new/external resources Weaver Strategy #1:Collection & Dissemination of Information : Weaver Strategy #1:Collection & Dissemination of Information BYSI Network Strategies, Projects and Activities 10 Serving as a true “hub & spoke”, the weaver positions himself as a hub of information that is distributed to the entire network, as well as to specific sub-networks. In a disconnected network, there is no hub that helps route information that is potentially helpful to the entire network. So while this is (ideally) a temporary role of the weaver, it is critical that the weaver gets information flowing in the network. Weaver Strategy #2:Building Sustainable Intermediaries (hubs) : Weaver Strategy #2:Building Sustainable Intermediaries (hubs) Many programs are largely assisted by intermediaries who supply programmatic and financial support. This means that the functions need to be identified, then the intermediaries who can deliver these must be identified. In order to make this sustainable, these intermediaries need to increase their capacity to deliver this, and then to “own” that product and raise money to do it more in the future. By identifying the intermediaries , the weaver is “embedding” the functions into the network, and the multiple hubs. BYSI Network Strategies, Projects and Activities 11 Weaver Strategy # 3: Identifying, linking, and strengthening small clusters : Weaver Strategy # 3: Identifying, linking, and strengthening small clusters BYSI Network Strategies, Projects and Activities 12 The weaver spends a great deal of time looking and listening for common issues, and looking and listening for intermediaries that have possible solutions to this issue. Determining where these common issues and programs exist, and doing the connection that needs to be done to bring the cluster together is that can be brought together as a cluster. Finding the common areas of need and interest are key in identifying small clusters of programs that can work together. Once commonalities are found, work is done to identify a solution that will benefit the programs individually as well as building network strength. When the common need is identified for a cluster of programs, the weaver searches for a solution to the issue – this can take the form of an intermediary, learning cluster, convening, or other connection Weaver Strategy # 4 – Identifying and linking new network resources : Weaver Strategy # 4 – Identifying and linking new network resources BYSI Network Strategies, Projects and Activities 13 Resources that can help the network are often not found in the “universe” of the network. Because the programs and people in the network are so focused on what they are doing, there is not enough time for them to research and connect to resources that could be “linked” into the existing network. The weaver is constantly researching (both formally and informally) potential resources that may be brought in to help strengthen the network. This research and connection of resources external to the existing network is a key strategy to helping build and strengthen the network. While identifying strong external resources is key, ensuring the resources “fit” and can be effectively linked into the network is key to the success of this strategy. Answering the big question – “How’s it going?” : Answering the big question – “How’s it going?” 14 Network building is an emergent method of supporting groups, the evaluation of the BYSI is more challenging and complex. There are three ways that show the efficacy of the BYSI; The specific projects that have been funded and supported by the BYSI Network Connectivity, as demonstrated through Social Network Analysis maps Observed Increasing network behavior Building the network - Grants to the sector : Building the network - Grants to the sector 15 Communication & Information distribution Monthly E-newsletter Website Youth Sports Directory Report on Volunteerism in Boston Youth Sports Building sustainable intermediaries Training grants to BUIACE for non-profit “train the trainer” projects Equipment grants to GoodSports Volunteer Organization (Sport in Society) Training and Organizing (Wheelock College) Training (Institute of Sport Coaching) Identifying, encouraging and strengthening small clusters Networking for Outcomes Boston TeamWorks FirstHoops Network Rallying for Resiliency Bringing in new resources SPARK Positive Coaching Alliance First Tee Building the network – Increased connectivity : Building the network – Increased connectivity 16 Pre-weaver Spring, 2006 Spring 2007 Nearly 450 network nodes Some connections with several small clusters Only a few meaningful hubs; not a lot of funders in the core Clear increases in connectivity, BYSI becomes critical hub Lots of intense BSYI activity at the core of the network, with some reaches out to those more on the periphery Nearly 750 network nodes Increasing hubs support the network Better communication throughout the network Weaver Learnings : Weaver Learnings 17 People and organizations will get involved in network activity if they see it as helping their organization It is important to be able to articulate network building both in network terms and tangible terms (you have to answer the “so what?”question) You can only dance with people who want to dance with you “Network building” is really about building networks, not a single network Trust is the currency of weavers

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